Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Night Three

We're pretty good at deciding to start something, and then failing miserablely when trying to follow through with it. But that's not going to stop us from trying to post our thoughts, however shallow and fairly obvious, each night of the NBA Playoffs. And there is no better time to start than Night Three. So here we go...

Heat go up 2-0 on Bulls. First things first: How cool are those "White Hot" white out t-shirts the Heat give away at home games? We've touched on this already, but it really is one of the coolest things a pro franchise has done in recent memory (the polar opposite: Clipper fans doing the wave during their beat down of the Nugs. Cringe. Welcome to the playoffs, Clips; let's try to act like we've been here before. Or at the very least, let's not embarrass ourselves). Its like a college atmosphere. Can't say enough about it.

Anyways, the game. Both teams shot just a ridiculous field goal percentage, but the defense wasn't actually that bad. Both teams were getting out and transition and knocking down jumpers. A lot of them. Heinrich in particular was really taking it at Wade, and Wade, although he was trying to look like he really could care less, seemed to get fired up for the challenge. That's gonna be a fun matchup to watch the rest of the way, Kirk playing like he's still pissed Ridnour got his spot trying out for Team USA while Wade looks like he's mildly annoyed he was woken up from a pretty good nap.

Chicago looked a little confused defensively. Are they doubling Shaq or not? It seemed like the same thing the Zards were doing with LeBron: either double a super star or don't; this halfway crap is a suicide mission. You either blitz or you don't; double team or don't. There are pros and cons to both. Just pick one, for God's sake.

The difference between the two teams? Well, besides the Heat having the two best players in the series: With 5 ticks left in the first half, JWill goes coast to coast for a layup, and then with 1 second left, Wade steals the ensuing inbounds pass and absolutely hammers one as time expires. Lead goes from 7 to 11 in under 5 seconds. Good (great?) teams close out halves; not so good teams let them. This makes us think the Bulls really can't win a game, although Miami's habit of nearly blowing 20 point leads is more than a little disconcerting. We're keeping the brooms ready.

Clips go up 2-0 on the Nugs. Break up the Paper Clips! What a beat down. Just a thorough thrashing from beginning to end. Denver couldn't throw it in the ocean, but give credit to the Clipper D; they forced Denver into tough shots or open shots for people who shouldn't be shooting from outside the foul line (that means you, Marcus Camby. And when Earl Boykins shoots 17 times, that's not good, either).

Melo got in foul trouble early, and was just frustrated throughout. He had that little "aww, c'mon man, this is ridiculous" smile on his face the entire game and you knew he was done. Hopefully going home rejuvenates him. Be a shame if this series was lopsided.

The playoffs are all about adjustments, or so we hear...Denver better have some pretty damn good adjustments up its sleeve. Things like "make shots" and "guard someone" are probably getting written on the chalkboard before the game. This series needs to go seven.

But when you look at these games in the big picture, what are they? Appetizers.

Tomorrow night. Game Two. Goosebumps. We will witness for the second time.

1 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

SG said...

Etan (Washington Heights, NY): Where does the Heat getting all their fans to wear white rank on all time lame-o sports gimmicks? I am putting it right between the rally monkey and the YMCA.

Bill Simmons: The Heat fans need to give it up - they are the lamest fans in the NBA. How many times have we seen a close playoff game with empty seats at midcourt? They are almost like watching 18,000 foreigners attending their first American game.